Three Prelims You Must Watch At UFC 217



by Mike Pendleton | Chicagoland Sports Radio | a special to Cagesiders

With three title fights on deck for UFC 217, all eyes will be on the main card when it kicks off. As the UFC returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time since Conor McGregor made history in 2016, they return with another stacked card from top to bottom.

In honor of there being three title fights on the main card and to make sure fans don’t forget about all the great prelims scheduled to take place, here are the top three prelim fights you can’t afford to miss at UFC 217.

  1. James Vick vs Joseph Duffy: Does anyone want to fight James Vick? The “Texecutioner” is 7-1 during his time in the UFC, coming off two straight victories and previously was on a five-fight win streak until falling to Beneil Dariush at UFC 199. Vick has serious potential inside the lightweight division, but he needs opponents. None are more game than “Irish” Joe Duffy who returns to the Octagon with a new contract. A true veteran of the sport, Duffy returns with no outside interference and will bring the fight to Vick. Somehow, Vick is still unranked in a very competitive lightweight division but a win over Duffy would likely bring him into the Top 15 rankings. This fight is the featured prelim on Fox Sports 1 and is guaranteed to get the late night fight card started off right.
  2. Mickey Gall vs Randy Brown: As Mickey Gall has said, this is the “Dana White Lookin For A Fight championship”. Both Gall and and Brown were discovered by White on the show and have seen early success since joining the UFC. Brown has gone 3-2 with his most recent fight coming as a decision loss to Belal Muhammed but was on a two-fight win streak prior to that fight. Brown and Gall have some history as the two have trained together in the past, but Gall has always had his sights set on what’s next as well as what’s in front of him. Gall hasn’t seen as much Octagon time as Brown but has gotten wins over Mike Jackson and former WWE superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks who made his UFC debut at UFC 203. This fight will be fun in a sense that both guys are young and still have plenty to prove to themselves and the promotion.
  3. Ovince Saint Preux vs Corey Anderson: Personal favorite prelim fight on this card, a clash of two light-heavyweight fighters who are on the verge of making the next jump in their career. Both guys have been close but unable to reach success at the top of the division. Saint-Preux is currently riding a two-fight win streak while Anderson hasn’t fought since his lost to Jimi Manuwa back in March and both guys have plenty to prove inside this division. Saint Preux is coming off another Von Flue choke victory, his third in the UFC and the fifth such win in the promotion’s history. With the light-heavyweight division being open besides the top three fighters (Cormier, Volkan Oezdemir, and Alexander Gustafsson) this fight has the potential to put the winner right at the top of the conversation in the division.

Predictions: James Vick over Joseph Duffy by second-round submission, Randy Brown over Mickey Gall by third-round TKO, and Saint Preux over Anderson by second-round submission (Saint Preux Choke).

UFC 217 is not getting the attention it deserves because it’s following up McGregor making history and the double-champ’s marketing power. However, the return of Georges St-Pierre is awesome and so is the fact that he’s going up against a guy who simply doesn’t care in Michael Bisping.

Before the main card gets underway, enjoy all of the preliminary fights, but make sure to keep your eyes on these three fights in particular.

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